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Topic: Re(2): Less Math = Better Teaching
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jul 18, 1995 3:14 PM

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Mark Priniski

Posts: 10
Registered: 12/6/04
Re(2): Less Math = Better Teaching
Posted: Jul 18, 1995 8:28 AM
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From Jack Rotman...
>Richard Fauchaux said:

< snip>

>>In music it is a well-known and commonly observed fact that being a great
>>player has absolutely no bearing on ones ability to teach. Conversely, many
>>of the best teachers are only mediocre players. A student musician showing
>>exceptional talent and ability will generally undertake a quest to find the
>>teacher that is both a great player and a great teacher, but until such a
>>person is found this student becomes adept at teaching themself.
>>Why would one expect mathematics to be any different ?

>Well, this is an interesting comparison. If we accept it, what does it imply
>about mathematics teaching?
>I noticed that Richard said "great player". Does this mean that a minimally
>competent player (who can reproduce music without obvious defects) can make a
>good teacher?


Very interesting comparison... and one that all of us Math/Music people
can understand. (I know I'm not the only Math/Music person out here)

My mother, who was also a Math teacher, tells a story about a teacher she
worked with back in the 30s. This person claimed that he could teach any
subject. One semester, he taught a swimming class, even though he could
not swim a stroke!!!

Now, I'm not proposing to take the arguement that far, I don't think you
can teach mathematics without knowing *any* math, but it is my opinion that
in the area of K-12 education, being good at TEACHING is at least as
important, if not mor important, as being a good mathematician.

It is a definite advantage to be both...

Mark Priniski Pioneering Partner '93
Rib Lake High School
Rib Lake, WI 54470

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